From the Dorset Echo
A TRADITIONAL gypsy caravan will take centre stage at an event in Dorchester for people to learn more about the Travelling community.
The Borough Gardens is hosting the event, on Friday, June 8, as part of Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.
Entry is free and there will be hands-on activities for all ages as well as displays for people to learn about the history of the communities who live life on the road.
People will be able to try their hands at peg making as well as taking a ride around the gardens on the back of a horse-drawn cart.
The Forest Play Bus is also setting up to run children’s activities.
In the afternoon Reverend Roger Redding, a chaplain to Gypsies and Travellers, will conduct a Baptismal Service in one of his last acts before retiring.
Musical accompaniment to the day will be provided by Dave Rawlins on the mandolin and there will be spellbinding stories from Michael Loader.
The event has been organised by the South West Dorset Multicultural Network in partnership with a range of other organisations including the ethnic minority and Traveller achievement service and community workers from NHS Dorset and the Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust.
Community development worker for West Dorset District Council Emma Scott said: “Gypsy Roma and Travellers are the largest ethnic minority community in the European Union with over 12 million people.
“In the UK, they are recognised ethnic minority communities and number 300,000.
“They are also the most marginalised and continue to suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination.
“Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month was started in 2008, to highlight and help raise awareness of these communities and their valuable contributions to our society.
“It is also to help offset the negative stereotyping and prejudices that have led to hate crime, bullying and physical violence towards people identified as belonging to this community.”
Last year more than 100 people attended the event at the Borough Gardens with families and children of all ages enjoying themselves.
The 2012 event runs from noon to 4pm.